Natural Conception

Fertility-friendly eating this holiday season

Eloise Edington  |   9 Dec 2022


Wondering how to navigate the holidays when TTC? On the hunt for a few Christmas fertility foods to sneak into your menu-planning? Or are you thinking, “Can I drink alcohol over the holidays?”

You’re not alone. These are big FAQs for the Fertility Help Hub community every holiday season.

At the start of this festive period and in the run-up to Christmas, the team at Laurel Fertility Care share advice on fertility-friendly eating and drinking.

During the holiday season, many who are trying to conceive might feel more pressured than ever to maintain a strict, fertility-friendly diet. We’re here to remind you that, although this time of year is often associated with over-indulging, joining in on the holiday fun can still be done with a few simple strategies!

Drinking Moderately

There isn’t a specific amount of alcohol that has been deemed “safe” to consume during or before pregnancy, so our specialists generally advise that anyone trying to conceive do their best to refrain from drinking it in excess. If you’ve committed to skipping the alcohol this season, try a holiday mocktail or some sparkling fruit juice to avoid the dreaded, “Why aren’t you drinking?” question.

It’s also important to remember that your mental health and wellbeing is one of the most important parts of this journey. If you do choose to drink during the holiday season, do so in moderation and don’t dwell on your decision or stress yourself out about it!

Our general recommendation to refrain from over-indulging is based on studies that have shown how acute alcohol consumption can affect liver function, which plays a crucial role in hormone levels and can increase estradiol, testosterone and LH. With that being said, having a festive drink at dinner, or a glass of wine to avoid prying questions from family members will most likely not ruin your chances of conceiving.

Caffeine has also been known to affect hormone health and conception. It’s recommended that those trying to conceive aim to keep daily caffeine intake below 200mg (the average 8 ounce cup of coffee has around 100mg of caffeine, but different types of coffee vary).

Mindful Indulgence

It can be easy to fall into the all-or-nothing mindset during holiday meals, but enjoying a couple of small portions of your favorite dishes can be a helpful, non-restrictive approach to mealtimes.

Once again, your mindset and wellbeing are of the utmost importance when trying to conceive, so allow yourself some small servings of festive foods like pumpkin pie or marshmallow-topped yams, but pair these with regular portions of fertility-friendly food and drinks.

Fill Your Plate with Christmas Fertility Foods

There are probably more fertility-boosting foods in holiday recipes than you realize!

Here are a few fertility-friendly snacks you can reach for instead of sugar-rich desserts or fatty, processed foods:

  • Pumpkin and butternut squash are both fall staples loaded with beta carotene, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E and many other important nutrients.

 

  • Spinach, leafy greens like kale or arugula, and asparagus are all greens that you might find in a salad or as a side dish. All are rich in folate, which supports health cell division and is essential for the development of red blood cells.

 

  • Cranberries and other berries like strawberries and blueberries are considered a fertility superfood and a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Do be mindful, though, about eating these as part of your fertility diet because of added sugars in berry pies or canned cranberry sauces. We recommend baking your own berry-filled holiday desserts with natural sugars or making your own cranberry sauce at home to avoid unnecessary added sugars.

 

  • Beans and lentils are often served as side dishes, and they’re packed with protein, iron and folate – all nutrients that can improve ovulation and aid with conception and healthy embryo development.

Following these top tips for what to eat will help you survive the holidays when trying to conceive. A fertility-friendly diet doesn’t have to be boring so enjoy the festivities, savor each bite and take in the holiday experience!

Click here to see Laurel Fertility Care’s profile and download our app to share fertility-friendly eating tips with our Fertility Squad members!

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